Extensive and detailed guide for creating new equipment or modifying existing equipment in The Hand of Merlin, written by its game designer Mat.
Guide to Nodding Equipment
- Introduction – What is equipment & File locations.
- Basic Information – Tiers, Costs, and Styles.
- Equipment Set-up – How to make it work.
What is Equipment?
In game, whenever your party reaches a Blacksmith, you can buy new equipment/gear. Every class has access to a different list of weapons and armor, but can only have one of each. They are tiered, 1 to 5, and whenever you buy one tier, you can access the next tier for purchase.
The Blacksmith Upgrades File
All of the information regarding the gear you can purchase in game is centered on a singular file, the
Equipment Tier and Cost
The first part of the document describes how many Tiers of equipment exist, and what are the costs associated with them. In the vanilla game, we have 5, so we add 5 entries to this list, and add a Min and a Max to the cost – each time the game has to generate a gold cost for a specific piece of equipment, it’ll get its base value from this range.
Note that every tier also has a small icon associated with it. This is overlaid to the actual gear icon – we use roman icons, like these:
A “Style” is the shorthand for a branch of gear. There’s 3 already designed, and each Blacksmith shop randomly selects 2from the list to propose. There’s no hard rules here apart from each style being able to have a Cost Modifier attached to it, even though we don’t use it. It’s a flat multiplier to whatever the cost is selected.
For this document, we used “Balanced”, “Heavy” and “Light”, but feel free to edit whatever makes most sense to you.
Let’s look at how an individual piece of equipment is set up. For this one, we’ll look at Shortsword IV, Warrior’s “light” weapon, tier 4.
First, note the Name and Description. These are text entries, so you’ll need identifiers as well. We use HOM.BlacksmithUpgrade.[Upgrade] for the name and HOM.BlacksmithUpgrade.[Upgrade].Description for the description. Refer to the Status Effects and Abilities guides for a more in-depth description on how dynamic text works, but I recommend checking out how the equipment descriptions are set up already and work from there.
You can also use an Upgrade Icon Override if your equipment is a bit more special than the others.
Then, for the actual meat of it, you have Attribute Modifiers and Damage Modifiers.
Attribute modifiers change a character’s stats. Gear, in particular, is also modified by the Nourishment system, and thus we recommend leaving Max Armor and Max Health with additive values instead of multiplicative ones, lest things get wilder than you expect. You can affect any attribute you want here!
Damage Modifiers are also available. More on those in the Status Effect guide, but here’s a quick rundown:
- Set up a direction – is this modifier changing damage Dealt, or Taken?
- Set up a scaling source if you want to use multiplication or percentages – here, status effect stacks don’t really work. We use it because we are not scaling, we’re just adding it flat.
- Then, on Stack Based or Attribute Based (depending if you have scaling or not), set the number that will be added/multiplied by the natural damage. In our case, it was a flat +4 addend
- Then, set the damage type. Standard/Health-only/Armor-only.
- Finally, set any conditions you think are relevant. Again, we explained conditions in the other guides, but here is how we set up the one for “if the target is unarmored”:
And there you have it. Equipment is a major part of the passive increase in power that units receive as you are playing the game, and are the largest gold sink. So feel free to explore and try out other configurations for your mods!